A banchetto con gli eroi. La mobilia in avorio dalla Casa Quadrata a Nisa Partica
Manassero, Niccolò, A banchetto con gli eroi. La mobilia in avorio dalla Casa Quadrata a Nisa Partica (Alessandria IT, Edizioni dell'Orso, 2018), pp. 211.Abstract

With contributions by Giorgio Affani and Carlo Lippolis

In 1948, the Soviet Expedition JuTAKE excavated the building called the ‘Square House’ at the Parthian site of Mithridatkert, known from ancient sources as Nisa, the alleged site of the graves of Parthian kings. Among the precious objects unearthed in this royal treasury, was a large inventory of ivory artefacts. Of these, the famous rhytons, masterpieces of Hellenistic art, were carefully restored and studied, while some 40 pieces of furniture were restored only in part and preliminarily published.

A thorough discussion and extensive publication of these findings has been undertaken by the author of this book. In 2013, in fact, thanks to support from the Shelby White & Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications, the National Museum of Ashgabat was able to conduct a careful investigation of the materials and prepare a complete set of photos and drawings in order to give this material the recognition it deserved within Western scholarship.

Through careful consideration of the quantity, shape and size of each item, the author suggests a possible reconstruction of the furniture that lay buried in the Square House, and highlights its ideological and symbolical meaning within the historical framework of the Parthian Empire.

The main information that emerges from the investigation at the Ashgabat Museum is that at least a part of the ivory used for the furniture items comes from African elephants, as their diameter exceeds 11 cms, namely the maximum size of the items carved from Indian ivory, according to A. Cutler. Moreover, the most part of the rhytons reach diameters (often up to 16.5 cms) that are undoubtedly related to African elephants.

The furniture lot is made of items of big size (considerably larger than the Pompei samples, for instance), and its arrangement is strange, as the complete set of four legs of no piece of furniture has ever been found. It comprises complete and incomplete items, and restored ones; very few legs find their match within the inventory, having different sizes and technical features, so the minimum number of couches and chairs rises to 10 at least, not 3 like supposed by the former publisher, G. Pugachenkova. The furniture items were probably stocked in the Square House after being used for some time, and some incomplete items were brought there from the workshops that were providing new ones. Nothing leads to suppose that the ivory inventory might come from a booty (as suggested by P. Bernard), on the contrary there’s solid base to think that they were produced in Nisa itself by specialized craftsmen working on commission for the Arsacid court: the unbaked clay statues were obviously made at Nisa, and recent works in the SW Building brought to light tracks of a workshop producing big size statues of horses, witnessed by plaster casts. In sum, there are many proofs of craftsmen working at Nisa on commission, perfectly mastering the Greek formal vocabulary, and there’s no need to search elsewhere the workshops that produced the ivory artefacts as well.

The idea proposed by the author of the book is that the Square House hosted sacred banquets for the dead king, on which occasion he was celebrated as hero and entered the gods’ sphere. The cult models are the Greek theoxenia and the Roman lectisternia and sellisternia, namely banquets where empty beds or chairs were supposed to host the invited gods, mostly the Dioscuroi and Herakles, and the deified Roman emperor.

This study concludes the systematic review to which the Italian Archaeological Mission has subjected the main groups of findings brought to light in that building. Here we present the precise publication of the lot of ivories: parts of chairs, thrones, beds and perhaps other furnishings, ranging in size from 5 to 70 cm in length, mainly worked on the lathe, almost completely devoid of figurative decorations. These are materials known to the scientific community for over 60 years, never properly published excluding a single short article in Russian language dated 1969. In addition to a substantial part of the catalog, the book is composed of some chapters that discuss historical and archaeological questions the material under examination, and a reasoned discussion of the morphological characteristics of the finds, aimed at understanding the categories of furniture to which these objects belonged originally, and the opportunities and contexts in which they could be employed. The conclusions reached document the extraordinary vitality and originality of the life of the Arsacid citadel, and its role not only of ceremonial center and core of elaboration of the characters of the royal ideology, but also of place of production of works of art and handicrafts that of this ideology they had to express and spread the images.

Niccolò Manassero is an archaeologist specialized in the study of Central Asia in the pre-Islamic era. He has published a monograph, Rhyta and horns from the Iron Age at the Sassanid era. Pure libations and mysticism between Greece and the Iranian world (Oxford 2008), and more than 20 articles in international specialist journals, always aimed at examining the hybrid manifestations of civilization and art to which gave life to the dialogue between the Greek and Iranian world following the expedition of Alexander the Great.

Decorated Pottery in Cyprus and Philistia in the 12th Century BC: Cypriot IIIC and Philistine IIIC, Vols. I&II
Mountjoy, Penelope, Decorated Pottery in Cyprus and Philistia in the 12th Century BC: Cypriot IIIC and Philistine IIIC, Vols. I&II (Austrian Academy of Sciences : Contributions to the Chronology of the Eastern Mediterranean Volume XXXVI, 2018).Abstract

The book comprises a study of the 12th century BC Aegean-style pottery from all the main Cypriot sites together with the contemporary Aegean-style pottery from the three excavated Philistine sites of Ekron, Ashkelon and Ashdod. As part of the project Neutron Activation Analysis of pottery from ten of the Cypriot sites has been carried out in Bonn to obtain the chemical profile of each site, thus enabling movement of pottery round the island to be recorded and contacts between specific Cypriot sites and the Near East to be highlighted.

The book presents in full detail the latest information from both excavation and study concerning a key period in the history of the Eastern Mediterranean region. The relevant stratigraphy at each site is discussed and documented with plans and sections, and the pottery comprehensively illustrated with line drawings. Unlimited access, courtesy of the excavators, to the contemporary Aegean-style pottery from the three Philistine sites adds another dimension to the study. Much of the material is new. Both new and old material is presented in a rational and organised fashion which will facilitate its use. It comprises unique material which has frequently been erroneously cited in support of the various theories put forward for the collapse of the Bronze Age cultures of the region. This comprehensive exposition of the evidence in a clear and rational format will form the foundation for real progress in our understanding of this complex and intriguing period. The book is an essential source volume for those working in the region.

To view or download the title pages and table of contents, please click HERE

Mégara Hyblaea 7. La Ville Classique, Hellenistic et Romaine
Tréziny, Henri, Mégara Hyblaea 7. La Ville Classique, Hellenistic et Romaine (Ecole Française de Rome, 2018), pp. 518.Abstract

With contributions by Frédéric Mège

Mégara Hyblaea 7. The Classical, Hellenistic and Roman City is essentially the publication of excavations conducted by François Villard and Georges Vallet between 1949 and 1975. The attention of the excavators focuses on the archaic agora, as recent levels have been less studied, with the exception of the Hellenistic temple (Megara Hyblaea 4, 1966). The current study is based on a re-examination of archive data as well as on a systematic re-reading of visible remains, accompanied by some cleanings and control surveys. The stratigraphic record is therefore limited and the chronology difficult to fix in detail. However, significant changes are proposed in the relative and absolute dating of many monuments (temple, fortification, baths). Most of the vestiges commented on in this book relate to the 3rd century BC and the reign of Hieron II, but the importance of the classical era and the reoccupation of Roman times, hitherto unrecognized, was soon realized - hence the broader title given. The book is therefore the continuation of Megara 5, but especially as the prerequisite for a resumption of modern excavations on the post-archaic levels of Mégara Hyblaea.

Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece
Papathanasiou, Anastasia, W.A. Parkinson, D.J. Pullen, M.L. Galaty, and P. Karkanas, ed. Neolithic Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece (Oxford UK, Oxbow, 2018), pp. 435+xviv+32 color plates.Abstract

In Honor of George Papathanassopoulos

Alepotrypa Cave at Diros Bay, Lakonia, Greece, is a 300 meters complex of consecutive chambers ending at a lake. It is one of the richest archaeological sites in Greece and Europe in terms of abundance, preservation and variability of artifacts, volume and temporal range of undisturbed deposits, as well as horizontal exposure of archaeological surfaces. The cave was excavated by G. Papathanassopoulos from 1970 to 2006. It is dated from 6,000 to 3,200 BC and was used, in conjunction with the surrounding area, as a complementary habitation area, a burial site, and a place for ceremonial activity. This edited volume is a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary study and interpretation of the unpublished results of approximately 40 years of excavation and analysis of the cave in one book. This contribution is essential to ongoing Neolithic research in Greece, but also in Anatolia, the Balkans and Europe, as it brings a comprehensive picture of a unique site to the attention of the archaeological community.

The book, which contains 23 chapters, starts with a presentation of the history of the excavations, an extensive description of the site, and its cultural and temporal positioning through a long series of radiocarbon dates, in association with the corresponding microstratigraphic, stratigraphic and ceramic sequence and also includes: a) the site formation processes, and the refinement of the stratigraphy of the cave deposits; b) the pottery and its spatial and temporal patterning, typology and technology; c) the stone and bone tools and objects, and their spatial patterning, typology and technology; d) numerous macroscopic, microscopic and isotopic chemical analyses of human, faunal, botanical and inorganic remains; and e) the environmental reconstruction of the area, and the results from the regional survey of the surrounding area. The volume concludes with a synthetic chapter that summarizes, combines and interprets all the aforementioned evidence, clarifies the actions implied by the observed materials, defines the particularities of the site and positions the cave in its broader natural and cultural web. All presentations include meaningful comparisons through time and across space within Alepotrypa Cave, as well as comparisons with other Greek Neolithic or European and Anatolian Neolithic societies. General questions that were addressed include: refinement of the Neolithic Aegean artifact chronology and typology; tool technologies; long-distance trade of raw materials and pottery; dispersal of communities and cave use in the Final Neolithic; permanent versus seasonal habitation/use of a site; site formation processes and hiatuses in caves; population health, movement, and biodistance; mortuary space and practice; expressions of ritual; the notions of continuity and monumentality, and of stability, definition and redefinition; the importance of terrestrial versus marine resources, as well as domesticated versus wild resources. Mortuary behavior, artifactual patterning and human skeletal remains are used to draw conclusions concerning social, cultural and biological conditions and to evaluate patterns of ceremonialism, including the fragmentation and dispersal of material in conjunction with mortuary data.

An article from National Geographic on the excavations may be found HERE

View or download the table of contents and front materials HERE

Jacob Kaplan's Excavations of Protohistoric Sites 1950s—1980s Vols. I&II
Gopher, Avi, Ram Gophna, Ruth Eyal, and Yitzhak Paz, Jacob Kaplan's Excavations of Protohistoric Sites 1950s—1980s Vols. I&II (Eisenbrauns / Emery and Claire Yass Publications in Archaeology : ©Tel Aviv University - Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology Monograph Series Number 36, 2017), pp. 714.Abstract

With contributions by Hay Ashkenazi, Eliot Braun, Anna Eirikh-Rose, Rinat Favis, Yosef Garfinkel, David Gersht, Talia Goldman, Jacob Kaplan, Liora Kolska Horwitz, Ofer Marder, Zinovi Matskevich, Danny Rosenberg, Moshe Sade, Haward Smithline, Katharina Streit, Eli Yannai and Dmitry Yegorov


Jacob Kaplan was a dynamic field archaeologist and an original researcher of the Pottery Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods in the Levant who was not accepted by the mainstream scholarly community of his time. Today we know that he played an important role in shaping the archaeological sequence of the late prehistory of Israel. His groundbreaking achievement in the early 1950s was the discovery and definition of the Wadi Rabah culture — a major entity in the late Pottery Neolithic period. On a broader scale, Kaplan incorporated the Pottery Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods of Israel into the sequences of the late prehistory of the Levant and touched, even if indirectly, on the question of the end of the Neolithic period — one of the most intensive, creative and transformative eras in human history.

In Jacob Kaplan's Excavations of Protohistoric Sites 1950s—1980s, the authors present some of Kaplan's unpublished field work. They also offer a broad canvas of the thoughts, theories and considerations that placed Kaplan in the forefront of Israeli archaeology of his time. His views on some of the basic crono-cultural issues of the Pottery Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods endure to this very day. This book accords Kaplan the full recognition he deserves as an original, leading researcher of the late prehistory of Israel.

Alassa. Excavations at the Late Bronze Age Sites of Pano Mantilaris and Paliotaverna 1984 – 2000
Hadjisavvas, Sophocles, Alassa. Excavations at the Late Bronze Age Sites of Pano Mantilaris and Paliotaverna 1984 – 2000 (Lefkosia, Cyprus Department of Antiquities, 2017), pp. 669 + xxiv.Abstract

With contributions by Priscilla Keswani and Ariane Jacobs

During the Late Bronze Age a number of important towns with diverse elite and public architectural complexes developed in Cyprus in conjunction with the expansion of the local copper industry and the intensification of external trade.  One of the most impressive centers of this era is the site of Alassa, located 34,758° North, 32,922° East, set on a triangular plateau in the Troodos foothills of southwestern Cyprus. At the locality Paliotaverna on the upper part of the plateau, excavations uncovered a group of three large ashlar buildings, one of which contained a wine press, the only one thus far discovered from this period. At the locality Pano Mantilaris 250 m to the southeast, settlement remains revealed evidence for metalworking in the midst of domestic and ritual activities. Alassa's far-flung international connections are attested by the Aegean characteristics discernible in its monumental architecture, the presence of imported and Aegean-inspired pottery, the Mycenaean and Syrian influences apparent in the pithos seal impressions, and the occurrence of tomb goods made from imported materials such as gold and chlorite.

It is probable that Alassa was the seat of a regional polity that controlled the adjacent copper-producing areas of the Troodos to the north, along with a series of settlements extending 10 km south to Episkopi Bamboula and the coast near ancient Kourion. In addition to metallurgical and trading pursuits, members of the ruling elite at Paliotaverna also engaged in wine production and the collection and storage of agricultural products, possibly for the purposes of staple finance (redistribution) and/or ceremonial feasting. These activities may have supported and legitimized their control over local economic resources and labor.

This final report on the 1984–2000 investigations at Alassa begins with the presentation of the rescue excavations of the settlement (Chapter 2) and tombs (Chapter 3) at Pano Mantilaris. This is followed by the account of the elite architecture and associated finds uncovered at Paliotaverna (Chapter 4) and a detailed description and discussion of the remarkable seal impressions found on many of the Alassa pithoi (Chapter 5). In-depth studies of the Alassa pithoi and all of the other pottery found at the site are presented in Chapters 6 and 7 by Priscilla Keswani and Ariane Jacobs, respectively. Reports by other specialists on a variety of topics may be found in the 10 appendices: the cylinder and stamp seals (Aruz), metallurgical finds (Kassianidou and Van-Brempt), marked pottery (Hirschfeld), C14 dates (Manning), human remains (Lorentz), faunal remains (Croft), coins (Destrooper), ground stone objects (Souter), and archaeometric studies of the pithoi (Nodarou) and other pottery (Jacobs et al.). The results from all of these studies are integrated within the conclusions that the author offers in Chapter 8 regarding the chronology and importance of Alassa within the broader cultural and sociopolitical context of LBA Cyprus. 


Jewish Quarter Excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem Vol. VII. Conducted by Nahman Avigad, 1969-1982. Areas Q, H, O-2, and Other Studies
Geva, Hillel, Jewish Quarter Excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem Vol. VII. Conducted by Nahman Avigad, 1969-1982. Areas Q, H, O-2, and Other Studies (Israel Exploration Society, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2017), pp. 368.Abstract

with contributions by N. Amitati-Preiss, D.T. Ariel, A. Ben Haim, D. Ben-Shlomo, N. Brosh, A. de Vincenz, E. Eshel, A. Grossberg, L. Habas, Y. Israeli, J. Magness, H.K. Mienis, R. Nenner-Soriano, R. Palistrant Shaick, O. Peleg-Barkat, R. Rosenthal-Heginbottom, R. Talgam, I. Yezerski

From 1969 to 1982 extensive archaeological excavations were conducted in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem under the direction of the late Professor Nahman Avigad on behalf of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Israel Exploration Society, and the Department of Antiquities (now the Israel Antiquitites Authority). During these excavations remains of fortifications, public buildings, and domestic dwellings were found, as well as numerous artifacts from all periods of the continuous settlement of this area, dated from the end of the First Temple period through the Ottoman period.

Among the major discoveries made during the Jewish Quarter Excavations are fortifications, including the northern portion of the First Wall; luxurious residences of the Upper City of Jerusalem dated to the late Second Temple period, including the Palatial Mansion; the Cardo and the Nea Church of the Byzantine period; a bazaar dated to the Crusader period; and portions of the southern fortifications of the Islamic-period city. These and other finds from the Excavations in the Jewish Quarter have changed many long-accepted ideas regarding the size and topography of ancient Jerusalem.

This volume is the seventh of the final reports of the excavations in the Jewish Quarter. It presents the finds from Area Q, H and O-2, including architectural remians and small finds. These range in date from the end of the Second Temple (Herodian) period to the Byzantine period. The most significant are the remains of a large public Miqweh with surrounding staircases on all four sides, fragments of monumental columns, and part of an elaborate dwelling with decorated mosaic floor. The volume also includes various studies on other finds. These are in addition to and supplement the many important finds published in previous volumes of the Jewish Quarter publications.

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Parian Polyandreia
Agelarakis, Anagnostis, Parian Polyandreia (Oxford, UK, Archaeopress, 2017), pp. 396.Abstract

The Late Geometric Funerary Legacy of Cremated Soldiers' Bones on Socio-Political Affairs and Military Organizational Preparedness in Ancient Greece

The anthropological study of two late 8th century BC monumental graves, designated as T144 and T105, at the ancient necropolis of Paroikia at Paros, initially intended to investigate inter-island features of the human condition, observable as ingrained traces in the human skeletal record, as it may have related to the Parian endeavors in the northern Aegean for the colonization of Thasos.

Through the 'Paros Polyandreia Anthropological Project,' it was possible to retrieve insights into aspects of the human environments and experiences that had transpired in a Parian context, elucidated by a considerable population sample of cremated male individuals, transcending to broader features that would have involved Thasos; discerning further facets of the human condition during the Late Geometric to the Early Archaic periods in the ancient Hellenic world.

This book integrates the basic anthropological data, evaluations and assessments derived from the study of the human skeletal record of Polyandreia T144 and T105. Bioarchaeological and forensic anthropological research results include the morphometric analyses of biological developmental growth and variability in relation to manifestations of acquired skeleto-anatomic changes, along with inquiries into the demographic dynamics, and the palaeopathologic profile of the individuals involved. Such intra-site data juxtaposed afforded the possibility to deliberate on issues of the preparedness, intended purpose, function, and symbolic meaning of the funerary activity areas and to reflect on the organizational abilities and capacities of the political and military affairs of the Parians.

Moreover, inter-site evaluations where relative with the burial grounds of Orthi Petra of Eleutherna-Crete, Plithos of Naxos, Athenian Demosion Sema, Pythagoreion of Samos, and Rhodes offer comparisons on taphonomy, on cremated materials' metric analyses, and on aspects of the funerary customs and practices in the interring of cremated war dead.

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Predynastic Maadi in Context. The Research of the Italian Expedition Revisited (1977-1986)
Bajeot, Jade, Predynastic Maadi in Context. The Research of the Italian Expedition Revisited (1977-1986) ("Sapienza" Università di Roma - Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Antichità : Studi di Preistoria Orientale (SPO) #4, 2017), pp. 302.Abstract

With contributions by R.T.J. Cappers, S. Drudi, M. Gleba, A. Hauptmann, G. Siracusano, and D. Zampetti.

Between 1977 and 1986 an Italian expedition from the Sapienza University of Rome carried out six archaeological campaigns in the well-known Predynastic site of Maadi (4th mill. B.C.). The investigation, conducted by the Missione Italiana per le Ricerche Preistoriche in Egitto e Sudan (MIRPES) under the direction of S. M. Puglisi and A. Palmieri, covered an area of around 450m2 and was located in the eastern part of the ancient settlement, diametrically opposite to the more recent diggings carried out by the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut.
This publication is the result of the elaboration of the unpublished data collected during these campaigns and is conceived as an excavation report. In particular it was possible to deepen the stratigraphic aspect which was fundamental for understanding the dynamics of formation and development of the settlement and this allowed us to complete the information contained in past monographs dealing with the first excavations carried out at Maadi. Finally we also could study for the first time the artefacts in a chronological perspective and to reconsider this site in the light of the latest research made in the Nile Delta.

View or download the title page and table of contents

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Bet Yeraḥ Vol. III. Hellenistic Philoteria and Islamic al-Sinnabra. The 1933-1986 and 2007-2013 Excavations
Greenberg, Raphael, Oren Tal, and Tawfiq Da'adli, Bet Yeraḥ Vol. III. Hellenistic Philoteria and Islamic al-Sinnabra. The 1933-1986 and 2007-2013 Excavations (Jerusalem, Israel Antiquities Authority Reports #61, 2017), pp. 234.Abstract

This, the third and final volume of reports dedicated to the publication of the 1933–1986 excavations at Khirbat al-Karak (Kh. Kerak)/Tel Bet Yeraḥ, describes the contiguous Hellenistic and Early Islamic remains excavated in the northern and southern parts of the site. These form an important component in the history of occupation on the mound and make a significant contribution to the archaeology of both periods. Their identification at the site in fact predates that of the Bronze Age remains: Eleazar Sukenik, who was asked to visit the road cut through ‘the Kerak’ in 1921, was the first to note their existence (Sukenik 1922), and the first to posit the identification of the site with Philoteria (see Chapter 2).

Substantial Hellenistic remains have been found, by several excavators, in virtually every part of the mound (Plan 1.1; Tables 1.1, 1.2): in all the areas excavated along its southern side (Areas BS, MS/EY, MK, GE), along considerable parts of the last Early Bronze Age fortification line (Wall C, principally in Towers 5, 8, 11 and 14 and near the ‘sortie tunnel’ [C10]) and in the various excavations of the northern sector (Areas GB, DK). In the central part of the mound, evidence is spotty, with the more substantial remains in Areas AC and BH, pits only in Areas UN and RV, and few finds reported in soundings undertaken by Delougaz and Haines in the western part of the mound. This distribution might indicate a bimodal concentration of houses on the two higher portions of the mound in the north and south, with the intervening saddle being, perhaps, only sporadically occupied (Table 1.2).

Earlier considerations of Hellenistic Philoteria, based for the most part on the sketchy preliminary publications of the excavation and on chance finds such as a cache of silver tetradrachms attributed to the site (Baramki 1944) and the later Tyche presumably found in the road cut (Sukenik 1922), had asserted the existence of a fortified town occupying the entire mound (Negev 1976; Hestrin 1993). The attribution of the fortifications (EB III Wall C, described in BY I: Chapter 6) to the Hellenistic period rested both on Hellenistic finds made by Bar-Adon within several towers and the assumption that round towers should be ascribed, by default, a Hellenistic date. However, the most recent considerations of the latest stone fortifications, by Getzov (2006) and by Greenberg et al. (BY I), supply evidence for an original Early Bronze Age date for Wall C, as well as for the presence of Hellenistic burials in or near the fortifications that imply that at least parts of the wall were considered to be separate from the settlement. The recent work of the Tel Aviv University team (Greenberg and Paz 2010) has allowed us to observe site formation processes in various parts of the mound. These observations suggest that when Hellenistic settlers first arrived at the site, most of which had been abandoned for two millennia, they found not the gently undulating surface of the modern mound, but an uneven surface pockmarked with ruins and with prominent stone foundations of fortifications and of monumental structures. The main concentrations of houses were built away from the massive earlier remains, which were used for refuse disposal and possibly for crafts such as potting (a large pit with kiln fragments was excavated in the Early Bronze Age Circles Building in 2009).

Post-Hellenistic presence on Tel Bet Yeraḥ was quite limited in extent and did not produce massive deposits. Early excavators reported Roman remains, but virtually nothing of this period can be identified in the remaining collections. Byzantine occupation appears to be limited to the church excavated and published by Delougaz and Haines (1960). The same excavators also identified substantial Early Islamic construction above the church; this was associated with the historical Umayyad palatial site of al-Ṣinnabra, although it was generally thought that the palace itself was located north of the mound.


View Bet Yeraḥ, The Early Bronze Age Mound. Volume II: Urban Structure and Material Culture, 1933-1986 Excavations

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HAZOR VII. The 1990-2012 Excavations. The Bronze Age
Ben-Tor, Amnon, Sharon Zuckerman, Shlomit Bechar, and Débora Sandhaus, HAZOR VII. The 1990-2012 Excavations. The Bronze Age, ed. Tsipi Kuper-Blau (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel Exploration Society, 2017), pp. 737.Abstract

With contibutions by Vladimir Avrutis, David Ben-Shlomo, Daphna Ben-Tor, Ruhama Bonfil, Manuel Cimadevilla, Simon Conner, Wayne Horowitz, Othmar Keel, Ron Kehati, Dimitri Laboury, Ron Lavi, Justin Lev-Tov, Marcel Marée, Nimrod Marom, Mario Martin, Liat Naeh, Tallay Ornan, Laura A. Peri, Maud Spaer, Miriam Tadmor, Dalit Weinblatt, Naama Yahalom-Mack, and David Ziegler

The seventh volume of the Hazor final reports, published in 2017 by Israel Exploration Society in cooperation with the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is dedicated to the Bronze Age finds in Area A, located at the center of the acropolis. This monumental volume brings to light the results of the renewed excavations in 1990–2012. Part I presents the stratigraphic analysis of the architectural finds dated to the third and second millennia (Strata XX–XIII), offering a new understanding of some of these strata. Part II offers an analysis of the ceramic finds dating from the Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age. This part includes typological schemes of the Bronze Age ceramic finds from Hazor as well as a discussion of the functional, regional and chronological aspects of the Hazor assemblages. Part III presents the many other finds dating from the Bronze Age, including statues, figurines, jewellery, tools, weapons and cuneiform tablets.

752 pages; 34 × 23.5 cm; hard cover. Numerous photos and drawings; ISBN 978-965-221-112-5; price: $120 ($90 to IES members); postage: airmail USA $58; Europe $30; surface mail $20

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Palaepaphos-Skales : Tombs of the Late Cypriote IIIB and Cypro-Geometric Periods (Excavations of 2008 and 2011)
Karageorghis, Vassos, and Efstathios Raptou, Palaepaphos-Skales : Tombs of the Late Cypriote IIIB and Cypro-Geometric Periods (Excavations of 2008 and 2011) (Nicosia, The Cyprus Institute, 2016), pp. xvi+162+101 color and b&w plates.Abstract

In this book the authors publish thirteen tombs and two pyres excavated by the Cyprus Department of Antiquities in the cemeteries of Palaepaphos, on the western part of Cyprus. More tombs from the same cemeteries were published by the same authors in 2015 and earlier (by V. Karageorghis) in 1983. They date to the Late Cypriote IIIB (ca. 1100-1050 B.C.) and the Cypro-Geometric I-III periods (ca. 1050-750 B.C.) There is an excavation report for each tomb, a detail catalogue of objects and a commentary for all ceramic types and other items found in each tomb and a note on chronology. A chapter on historical conclusions places these tombs against their historical background. The transition from the end of the Late Bronze Age to the Iron Age (Cypro-Geometric period) is marked by the development of an elite society of Greek settlers from the Aegean, who introduced not only artistic styles but also funerary customs.

Of particular interest among the tomb gifts are the bronze vessels; of an exceptionally fine quality is a bronze amphoroid crater found in a tomb of the 11th cent. B.C., whose handles and rim were cast and are decorated in relief with pictorial motifs. Ten appendices written by specialists deal with topics like epigraphy, human and animal skeletal remains, marine molluscs, mineralized textiles etc.


Beer-Sheba III - The Early Iron IIA Enclosed Settlement and the Late Iron IIA–Iron IIB Cities
Herzog, Ze'ev, and Lily Singer-Avitz, Beer-Sheba III - The Early Iron IIA Enclosed Settlement and the Late Iron IIA–Iron IIB Cities, Vols. I-III (Winona Lake, IN, Eisenbrauns, 2016), pp. 1534; many illustrations.Abstract

The publication of the full report of the Tel Beer-sheba Iron Age remains is a fulfillment of a scientific dream. The excavations at Tel Beer-sheba, carried out under the auspices of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, were the highlight of Yohanan Aharoni’s vast research program in the Beer-sheba Valley. He directed this program from 1969 until his untimely death in 1976 at the age of 56. The final season of excavations at Tel Beer-sheba, the eighth, took place in the summer of 1976 and was carried out after Aharoni’s demise by his chief assistants, Ze’ev Herzog, Itzhaq Beit-Arieh, and Anson F. Rainey. The latter two regrettably did not live to see the completion of this publication, but they shared in the work, as did the young staff members who enabled the Tel Beer-sheba project to become a reality.

During the National Parks Authority site development, there was further exposure, mainly of the water supply systems, directed by Ze’ev Herzog with David Sappo (Western Quarter, 1990–1991), with Tsvika Tsuk (the well, 1993) and finally with Ido Ginaton (the water-system, 1994–1995).

Now, after a lengthy process of analyzing the excavations in the storerooms of Tel Aviv University’s Institute of Archaeology and digging through the endless documentary material amassed, the full data is proudly presented. This work is offered not merely as a final report but as a starting point for further scientific inquiry on the abundant architectural, artifactual, and ecofactual data from Tel Beer-sheba.

Volume I reports on the stratigraphy and architecture, volume 2 on the pottery; and volume 3 on the artifacts, ecofacts, and also provides concluding studies. The three volumes are profusely illustrated and an essential resource for anyone interested in the history of Judah, the Beer-sheba Valley, the site itself, and life during the Iron Age in the southern Levant.

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Yadin's Expedition to Megiddo - Final Report of the Archaeological Excavations (1960,1966,1967, and 1971/2 Seasons)
Zarzecki-Peleg, Anabel, Yadin's Expedition to Megiddo - Final Report of the Archaeological Excavations (1960,1966,1967, and 1971/2 Seasons), Vols. I&II (Jerusalem, Israel Exploration Society - Qedem #56. Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2016), pp. 333,12 foldouts.Abstract

This volume publishes the results of the excavations conducted at Tel Megiddo by Yigael Yadin in four short seasons (1960, 1966, 1967 and 1971-2). The expedition's main focus was the northeastern sector of the mound, where excavation uncovered the remains of an extensive public structure attributed to Stratum VA-IVB, which was named "Palace 6000". Additional  probes were carried out in  Area C in the southwestern part of the mound, intended to examine the stratigraphic connection with Gallery 629 and the cave of the spring, and Sounding 2153 in the area of the staircase outside the outer Iron Age gate.
Based on the surviving documentation, the volume presents the architectural remains and ceramic assemblages uncovered in the excavation, together with the hoard of small finds (Stratum VIA) found below "Palace 6000". The author presents Yadin's conclusions as well as her own interpretation of the results of the excavation, and offers a new stratigraphic analysis of some previously published Iron Age II remains excavated by other expeditions.

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Sahab - Chalcolithic Village Farming Community at Sahab
Ibrahim, Moawiyah M. Sahab - Chalcolithic Village Farming Community at Sahab (Amman, Department of Antiquities of Jordan Publications Series, 2016), pp. 398 (Vol. I).Abstract

Sahab is one of the largest Jordanian archaeological sites located in the transitional zone between the highlands and the desert . The excavations at the site were considered as rescue/salvage operations, which continued for a number of years. It was probably the largest excavation project to be undertaken and sponsored by the Department of Antiquities at that time. Several members of the DoA were trained at the site. However, the budget for the excavations and project members was very limited, which was the main reason for not processing the material towards final publication.

Sahab has a long history of occupation, extending from the Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic period (5th and 4th millenia BCE) to the Late Iron Age (6th century BCE). The site was apparently abandoned until the medieval Arabic Period (11th-13th centuries CE), evidenced by Ayyubid/Mamluk pottery sherds. There was another occupational gap from the 13th century to the 19th century CE, at which time the present inhabitants moved to the site.

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Ramat Raḥel III - Final Publication of Yohanon Aharoni's Excavations (1954, 1959-1962)
Lipschits, Oded, Yuval Gadot, and Liora Freud, Ramat Raḥel III - Final Publication of Yohanon Aharoni's Excavations (1954, 1959-1962) (Winona Lake, IN, Eisenbraun's; Tel Aviv University Nadler Institute of Archaeology Monograph Series Number 35, 2016), pp. x + 283 (Vol I); x + 362 (Vol.II).Abstract
This two-volume report brings to full publication the results of Yohanon Aharoni's 1954, 1959-1962 archaeological excavations at the site of Ramat Raḥel. The authors, who spent years locating and retrieving lost field cards, photographs and finds, present the earliest excavations at the site, until now only published in preliminary form. The full publication of Ramat Raḥel, with its palace renowned for its unique architectural plan, use of stone ornamentation and hundreds of stamped handles, is a welcome addition to scholarly literature on the history and archaeology of Judah during the Iron, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Early Islamic periods.

Volume I offers the reader detailed architectural plans and field photos that serve as a base for a sound and meticulous evaluation of the site's stratigraphy and architecture. It poses an integrative approach that emphasizes well-contextualized pottery assemblages for the dating of the various architectural units.

Volume II is devoted to the full publication of thousands of Aharoni's finds from the diverse periods of settlement, which attest to the site's importance throughout history.

An addendum to the volume is the final publication of Gideon Solimany's 2000-2002 excavations, carried out in preparation of turning the site into an archaeological park.

Ramat Raḥel III will be followed by Ramat Raḥel IV, V, and VI, which are the reports of the more recent renewed excavations at Ramat Raḥel.

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The New Chronology of the Bronze Age Settlement of Tepe Hissar, Iran
Gürsan-Salzmann, Ayşe, The New Chronology of the Bronze Age Settlement of Tepe Hissar, Iran (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press for the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2016), pp. 408 .Abstract

Tepe Hissar is a large Bronze Age site in northeastern Iran notable for its uninterrupted occupational history from the fifth to the second millennium B.C.E. The quantity and elaborateness of its excavated artifacts and funerary customs position the site prominently as a cultural bridge between Mesopotamia and Central Asia. To address questions of synchronic and diachronic nature relating to the changing levels of socioeconomic complexity in the region and across the greater Near East, chronological clarity is required. While Erich Schmidt's 1931-32 excavations for the Penn Museum established the historical framework at Tepe Hissar, it was Robert H. Dyson, Jr., and his team's follow-up work in 1976 that presented a stratigraphically clearer sequence for the site with associated radiocarbon dates. Until now, however, a full study of the site's ceramic assemblages has not been published.

This monograph brings to final publication a stratigraphically based chronology for the Early Bronze Age settlement at Tepe Hissar. Based on a full study of the ceramic assemblages excavated from radiocarbon-dated occupational phases in 1976 by Dyson and his team, and linked to Schmidt's earlier ceramic sequence that was derived from a large corpus of grave contents, a new chronological framework for Tepe Hissar and its region is established. This clarified sequence provides ample evidence for the nature of the evolution and the abandonment of the site, and its chronological correlations on the northern Iranian plateau, situating it in time and space between Turkmenistan and Bactria on the one hand and Mesopotamia on the other.

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Naukratis: Greeks in Egypt (British Museum Online Research Catalogue)
Villing, Alexandra, Marianne Bergeron, Giorgos Bourogiannis, Alan Johnston, François Leclère, Aurélia Masson, and others, Naukratis: Greeks in Egypt (British Museum Online Research Catalogue), 2015 . WEBSITEAbstract
The Greek-Egyptian town of Naukratis in the Nile Delta was a major centre of cross-cultural contact in the ancient world. This catalogue presents the wealth of archaeological finds made in late 19th and early 20th century excavations at the site, well over 17,000 objects that are today dispersed in museums worldwide. Comprising Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Cypriot objects dating from the 7th century BC to the 7th century AD, it illustrates the rich and varied history of this important site.
The late prehistory of Malta: Essays on Borġ in-Nadur and other sites
Tanasi, Davide, and Nicholas C. Vella, ed. The late prehistory of Malta: Essays on Borġ in-Nadur and other sites (Oxford, England, Archaeopress, 2015), pp. vii+199; illustrated throughout in B&W.Abstract

     Borġ in-Nadur, on the south-east coast of the island of Malta, is a major multi-period site, with archaeological remains that span several thousand years.  In the course of the Late Neolithic, the steep-sided ridge was occupied by a large megalithic temple complex that was re-occupied in the succeeding Bronze Age.  In the course of the second millennium BC, the ridge was heavily fortified by a massive wall to protect a settlement of huts. Excavations were carried out here in 1881 and again in 1959. This volume brings together a number of contributions that report on those excavations, providing an exhaustive account of the stratigraphy, the pottery, the lithic assemblages, the bones, and the molluscs. Additional studies look at other sites in Malta and in neighbouring Sicily in an effort to throw light on the late prehistory of the south-central Mediterranean at a period when connections with regions near and far were increasing. The volume forms a companion to another monograph which concentrated on the temple remains at Borġ in-Nadur (D. Tanasi and N. C. Vella (eds), Site, artefacts and landscape: prehistoric Borġ in-Nadur, Malta. Praehistorica Mediterranea 3. Monza: Polimetrica, 2011)

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Sir Aurel Stein and the 'Lord of the Marches' : New Archival Material
Olivieri, Luca Maria, Sir Aurel Stein and the 'Lord of the Marches' : New Archival Material (Lahore, Pakistan, Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2015), pp. 402.Abstract

     In 2008, during the cataloguing of some pre-Partition documents at Malakand Fort - in the former North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan - the author unveiled a significant group of unpublished documents referring to archaeological matters. The archival study, focused on three folders containing a total of 348 documents covering a period spanning from 1895 to 1937.

The corpus covers nearly forty years of British rule over the Malakand territories, and diplomatic contacts with the nearby Native States, like Swat. The corpus contains documents of different characters: from official notifications, to demi-official letters, annotated proofs and drafts, minutes, and copies of telegrams. The corpus documents in a very detailed way, often day by day, the genesis and evolution of the archaeological research in Malakand and Swat. The character of the protagonists, the evolution of the legal context, but also the gradual expansion of the field research, is revealed throughout the entire corpus. Contrasts and solutions concerning the protection of the archaeological heritage, the different approaches of the officers and scholars involved in the field over the years, as well as the feedback received from faraway head offices, all and more than this is accurately registered in that remote British outpost that was Malakand Fort.

At Malakand Fort three generations of brave British officers proved themselves within a complex environment, and a surprisingly vast range of duties. Moreover, the special interest attached to the corpus derives from some groups of documents, letters from and to Sir Aurel Stein, some of them in copy, others in original autographed manuscripts. These documents are all connected to the explorations of Sir Aurel Stein in Swat. A first group is linked to his 1926 trip to Swat and to his identification of the Indian Aornos of Alexander’s historians. The other three groups are related to three failed plans by Stein to carry out new explorations in Swat in 1928, in 1931, and in 1933.

The work presents the archival material in chronological order, and - through them - it attempts at reconstructing the history of the archaeology of the Malakand area and Swat.